First time hatching fertile eggs with broody!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RingneckParrot, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. RingneckParrot

    RingneckParrot Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2012
    Sydney, NSW
    Hi well yesterday I went to my relatives for Australia Day and they gave me a dozen fertile light Sussex eggs which was great because I have a really broody buff Sussex cross Isa brown that is keen to hatch out some babies. She constantly goes broody so I usually have to 'break her off the brood' as I can not buy fertile eggs at the time. It is my first time and don't really know what to do. Biddy (the broody) lives with her friend, a light Sussex cross Isa brown in a smallish coop that has a layer compartment, roosting area and a small run. I am a bit worried that if I leave her friend, Speckle, in there that she might take over the clutch or Biddy might try to protect her young and accidently trample them if Speckle is in there. I do have a bigger coop with four other chooks and Speckle is fine in there with them so maybe I might have to move her in there for the time being whilst Biddy is sitting on her clutch? Or will Biddy feel too uncomfortable on her own and abandon the nest??? I don't know :( I am just really eager to see my girl raise her own family and I just want to do everything right. Sorry about so many questions! Oh and I almost forgot. I heard that as Sussex are quite big birds they tend to squash their young sometimes so would it be better to have a small nesting area or a large? If it is too large will the eggs roll out from under her? Or if too small she might squash them...... btw, I don't know how old the eggs are.. I'd say they are less than a week old so I guess the sooner the better under Biddy!!
    Thankyou so much! I appreciate all your help!!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    With your arrangement, I would definitely move Speckle until a day or two after the eggs hatch. Biddy will be in a sort of trance almost continuously and will appreciate not being disturbed. Also, when she does get up that once a day to eat, drink and poop, she won't return to the wrong nest (If there is more than one, I'd block it off) and no one will decide to sit on her eggs. Hens will also steal and rearrange eggs in another hen's clutch, so isolating her eliminates this problem. Also, you'll be able to tell whether she's gotten up, so you can pick her up and nudge her til she eats and drinks, to keep her strength up and minimize weight loss.

    After the chicks hatch and start exploring, I prefer to let mama and chicks back in with the rest of of the flock -- which mine have always wanted to do. This way, when mama stops mothering in a few weeks, the chicks will already be integrated into the flock. If you have mama raise the chicks separately, you will likely need to raise the chicks separate from the rest of the flock after mama is through with them, as they will be smaller and would likely be attacked by the mature hens.

    There are several threads about broodies in this Incubating section, where you can read about different peoples' experiences and approaches.
     
  3. RingneckParrot

    RingneckParrot Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2012
    Sydney, NSW
    Thanks for your quick response and good advice flockwatcher!! Yes, I think i'll do what you recomended. Just another question though, how should you introduce the eggs? As there is only one or two eggs under her at the moment would it be a shock to her if I put all the fertile eggs (12) under her at night? Or would it be better to gradually introduce artificial eggs until there is a dozen and then slip the fertile eggs in and take the artificial ones out another night and then she won't really notice the difference? I don't really want to be too long introducing the eggs becuase I don't want to leave them still for long. Will Biddy somehow know that the eggs are fertile and look after them anyway? Sorry about so many questions!
    Thanks for all your help! :)
     
  4. RingneckParrot

    RingneckParrot Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2012
    Sydney, NSW
    Well great. Now Speckle has gone broody too. -_-
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sorry about that. I'm a little surprised someone else didn't jump in. You've undoubtedly already made your choice. Either way would probably work -- every chicken is a little different so it's hard to tell you she would or wouldn't accept 12 eggs after sitting on a couple. She won't know whether they are fertile, no, just as she won't know they are real eggs and not golf balls or whatever. They will also brood nothing; mine often do. However, they will probably know if an egg is dead or rotten, and kick it out of the nest or eat it.
     
  6. RingneckParrot

    RingneckParrot Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2012
    Sydney, NSW
    Thanks flockwatcher!! Yeah I managed to give her 10 eggs - not too many I hope :) Anyway she is up to day 6 and is doing rather well. I've numbered the eggs too. Tomorrow I think I might candle one of the eggs and see whats inside.. :) hehe I really hope atleast something hatches out.. anyway she hasn't been coming out of the nest everyday so I make sure I let her out atleast once every couple of days.. I've also been making sure that she has plenty of water and food.
     

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